Monday, 15 September 2014

Twisted Lives by Ali Spooner

As Bet is fleeing from her abusive husband with her four year old daughter, Kylie, her car breaks down. It is a twist of fate that it should happen right outside the entrance to the home of property developer, Alex Graves.

When Alex arrives home and sees Bet’s plight and the lovely little munchkin, Kylie, asleep in the passenger seat, Alex is spurred into action. She offers Bet and Kylie her hospitality and the run of her home.

Alex and Bet had no way of knowing that this simple act of kindness would change their lives forever. Unfortunately for them all, as well as bringing them love, it also brings danger to their door.

I’ve read many books by master storyteller, Ali Spooner and have thoroughly enjoyed each one. Ali’s writing is what I call ‘my go to comfort reads’. I simply can’t read her books just once. Her stories and characters resonate with me long after I’ve finished reading her books.

This story is a romance, a page turner that hooked me in from the very first page and kept me enthralled through to the last page. A sweet and tender, heart warming love story, that is sizzling hot in parts, with a touch of angst and humor too. The romance between Bet and Alex begins almost immediately. Virtually love at first sight. Bet, Alex and the loveable four year old, going on twenty year old, Kylie are the three main characters. They are backed up by a strong cast of secondary characters each essential to the progression of this well written, fast paced story. I made the big mistake of starting this book late one night. I’ll never learn! I couldn’t put it down, so it was another late night.

As with all of Ali’s books I’ve read so far, the story is never simply ‘just one theme’, as in this case, just ‘another romance’. There is a brilliant storyline apart from the romance that runs through the book with a touch of intrigue throughout, whetting the readers appetite for more. 

This is a nice length book, but still not long enough for me. I wanted much more. I’m hoping for a sequel or at the very least a novella or short story to see what is next in the lives of Alex, Bet and Kylie. These characters are far too precious not to visit them again. 


Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Destination Alara by S.Y Thompson

Vanessa Swann, (Van), veteran of the Gothoan war, has her first starship command as a newly promoted Captain. It’s the twenty fourth century and although technology has vastly changed, deviousness, greed and war amongst the species hasn’t.

Van is searching the outer reaches of the galaxy for signs of rebel activity when she finds herself unexpectedly teamed up with Admiral/Princess Cade Meryan. Cade is the leader of the Coalitions flag ship and heir to the throne of Alara.

Van has always been a player, one for loving and leaving the ladies. Now she’s smitten with Cade’s beauty. But, it would be unprofessional of her to pursue her attraction, plus she feels Cade may be a little out of her league.

When faced with numerous attempts on Cade’s life, Van needs a clear head to keep her safe. With the threat of a galactic war and the safety of millions of people to look out for, Van’s work is cut out and it is not going to be an easy task to keep Cade from harm.

Both Van’s and Cade’s lives will never be the same again as the battle to defeat the enemy begins.

I’ve read some of SY Thompson’s books before and I’ve enjoyed them all. I’m not a great fan of sci/fi, but I have to say this book exceeded all my expectations. It’s well written and an edge of the seat page turner from the first page right through to the last. There are so many ups and downs and twists and turns, it’s like being on a roller coaster ride that is full of exhilaration and excitement.

SY Thompson has created a fantastic, easy to visualize, descriptively scenic world set in the twenty fourth century. Although the technology has far advanced, the reader is still able to understand exactly what is happening and visualize it, and is not blinded by science. Throughout the book is a slow burning, hot, sweet and tender romance that may or may not get off the ground. But, it’s fun watching it develop and anticipating it’s outcome.

The two main characters, Van and Cade are multidimensional and are backed up by a wealth of wonderful secondary characters, each essential to the fast paced progression of the story through to it’s dramatic ending.

Although this book concluded, it would be really nice to have a sequel or a follow on story with these characters in this brilliant new world.


Monday, 1 September 2014

Malodorous by Del Robertson

Sequel to My Fair Maiden

Beautiful maiden, Gwen, thought her life would improve vastly after narrowly escaping being a virgin sacrifice and leaving her home village for pastures new. Unfortunately, when she arrives in Fairhaven, she finds the village stinks and it’s not down to the rather dubious mutton stew being served. Something is seriously amiss.

Handsome swordsman, Bodhi, as always, is looking for the next wench to add another notch to her bedpost. She has the pick when she ends up in Fairhaven.

After the tussle with the ogre and the way they’d parted, neither Gwen or Bodhi expected to meet again. But, here they are, trapped in the village of Fairhaven, with a killer at large.

Fairhaven is on a lockdown. The villagers are afraid. The guards are corrupt, who can be trusted? Then to top it all, the unthinkable occurs, Bodhi is arrested for murder. Who will help her prove her innocence? Is she innocent? Is this the end for Bodhi?

I loved Del Robertson’s My Fair Maiden and was hoping that there would be a sequel. This book is a pure delight to read. It’s a page turner from the first page through to the last page. The book will standalone, but I strongly advise reading My Fair Maiden first. Why miss out on another great book? Plus, it’s nice to get the background on Gwen and Bodhi and hear of their past adventures.

This is a true fairy tale read for adults and lovers of lesfic and it’s fast paced, with wonderfully scenic descriptions. The characters are all multidimensional and interact well together. There is a real laugh out loud humor throughout and some nicely placed romantic actions of a hot nature, just for good measure. We find the usual element of mystery and intrigue with mythical creatures that made the fairy tales of yesteryear unforgettable, as are these two books.

I’m hoping that we will see Gwen and Bodhi back again in another adventure soon.

For readers wanting the print version, Affinity have included both books in one volume. The ebooks are available to buy separately.


There Was A Time by Jen Silver

A short story

Fin lives in a seaside resort and works behind the bar of the Golden Dragon. The pub is busy in the summer months with holiday makers and Fin has her pick of women for hot liaisons in the dunes. During the slow winter evenings, Fin spends her time thinking about the following summer and wondering who she’ll end up in the dunes with.

On the night of an important darts match, a stranger walks into the bar and Fin’s life as she knows it is about to change forever. Fin is in love.

This is the first thing I’ve read by Jen Silver. I know she has a full length book due out soon, and if this story is anything to go by, I’m going to be first in line to read it.

This short story is well written, fast paced and has a lot packed into it. It is told entirely from Fin’s point of view, so we get to know a bit about her background and the type of person she is.

The characters are multi-faceted and down to earth, just like our everyday friends.

This is a story of how ones life can change in the blink of an eye when we least expect it. Love can strike any of us, at any moment and our dreams can come true.



Stay With Me by Lydia Rose

When forty year old financial adviser, Christine Harper, lost her partner Jackie in a boating accident after fifteen blissful, love filled years together, she’s devastated. Three years have passed, but Christine is still unable to come to terms with her loss, let alone move on. She feels she would be cheating on Jackie. Numerous attempts by her friends to set her up with single women are driving Christine to distraction. How many times can she say no before they take the hint?

When Laura Lerner, a client, and Christine meet, the two women become friends and also neighbors. Laura has recently lost her father and is deciding whether to sell his house in New Jersey or move back to New York. Laura is attracted to Christine and is ten years younger. Unfortunately for Laura, Christine makes it clear they can never be more than friends. That doesn’t stop Laura from hoping for more though.

Will Christine let go of the ghosts of the past? Or will Laura go back to New York ending any chance of anything more than friendship?

This is the first book I’ve read by Lydia Rose. Although the story was reasonable, the editing and grammatical errors took away a lot of the pleasure I would have got from this book. The characters are nice enough, the scenic descriptions are good, the book is scorching hot in places and the storyline is nicely paced, but the book ended a bit abruptly. Unless there is to be a sequel.

This book is a prime example of an author not using a decent editor. The errors are too numerous to count. There are words misspelt and misused, characters names mixed up and grammatical errors from the beginning. The book wasn’t exactly cheap here in the UK either. But, if you don’t mind all this, you may enjoy the story.


Deserted Echo by Linda Kay Silva

Echo Branson has her work and her patience stretched to it’s very limits in her latest adventure.

Echo is on vacation in the desert with her students from school. She agrees to a request to interview a member of the Mexican drug cartel. Unfortunately, Echo gets far more than she bargained for.

Echo and her friends find themselves embroiled in a web of lies and deceit, all wrapped up in mysteries unlike any they’ve come across before.

Add into the mix a band of evil supernaturals and soon Echo and her friends are fighting for their lives. Will good or evil reign supreme in the end?

Another well written, edge of the seat, page turner in this wonderful series written by the brilliant master storyteller, Linda Kay Silva. Every book I’ve ever read written by Linda is consistently great for story content, fabulous multidimensional characters, scenic descriptions and taking the reader on a roller coaster ride into uncharted territories. Her work is original and nothing like anything I’ve ever read before.

I’ve loved Echo Branson and her band of ‘supers’ since the very first episode, the stories have got more intense and more diverse as the series has progressed. Never a dull moment. This is a brilliant paranormal, adventure series with a dose of romance thrown in for good measure.

I’m not adding in any spoilers, but be prepared to be shocked, Linda has added twists and turns I never would have expected.

I’m looking forward to the next Echo adventure, hopefully in the not too distant future.  


French Lessons by Natalie Vivien

Chicago doctor, Vida Toujours has always worked hard for everything she has and has achieved. She is an all work and no play woman. She has a habit of pushing people away when they become too close, preferring to remain aloof and detached. But in the process, she is lonely.

When Vida receives a letter from France right out of the blue, she has no idea that her life is about to change forever.

Vida’s aunt, an aunt she never knew existed, has died. She’s left Vida her chateau in the countryside in France and a sizeable fortune. Vida is delighted. She resigns from her post at the hospital and flies out to France immediately.

Vida arrives at her chateau and it’s there she meets the beautiful and alluring Renée Chanson. Vida is enchanted and smitten with Renée. But, she’s unprepared for the all consuming mystery surrounding her family. Deep dark secrets begin to emerge. Will Vida open her heart and mind to love and trust Renée? Or will she do what her mother did decades before and run away, leaving the love of her life behind?

I’ve read several of Natalie Vivien’s books and find her books well written and edited and her storytelling pleasant and consistent. I’ve enjoyed all the stories I’ve read so far.

This book is a romance, with a mysterious theme running through it, although not a mystery book. The three main characters are multidimensional and easy to get to know. Although the story is primarily about Vida and the family she never knew, Renée is her romantic interest and Effie, a housekeeper of sorts adds a lot to the story.

The book is a fast paced page turner right the way through. Not too long, so I was able to finish it in one sitting. I’m looking forward to reading more from Natalie Vivien soon.


Eight Dates by Lori L Lake

Skylar Cassidy had gone through a bad break up from her long term relationship. Even after a year, she still hasn’t managed to move on. She can’t seem to meet a woman. Although lonely, she’s not sure what she really wants.

Skylar’s best gay friend and business partner, Mitchell is pro active and opens up an account in Skylar’s name on an online dating website, He puts up her profile as a risk-taking, loving, happy-go-lucky single woman. Skylar gets so many emails, she can’t keep up with them. What can she do? Or more to the point, what will she do? Skylar doesn’t really want to be alone anymore.

Mitchell challenges Skylar to go on eight dates in a quest to find Ms Right. Unfortunately, Skylar finds more Ms Wrong’s than Right’s.

A nicely written and well edited comedy/romance. There are so many laugh out loud moments throughout, that I found the book a little heavy on the comedy and not quite enough romance. Not exactly a bad thing, but not quite what I expected from the title. None-the–less, I did enjoy the book.

I loved Skylar’s character and her interactions with the little girl next door, Maya, were really funny. Add to this that Rebecca her mother is the proverbial good looking girl next door and you have three wonderful and loveable characters, backed up by some equally as nice and intriguing secondary characters to move the story forward. Mitchell, is a hoot. His interfering makes for interesting hilarity.

This book is not all sweetness and light, there are a few nasty scenes and a character I could have cheerfully slapped. But, it is tastefully written and there is nothing violent.

Some of the replies Skylar got on the dating website and dates she went on had me wondering if there are actually people out there like that. But, I suspect, there may well be.

The book title of Eight Dates was appropriate. I only wish that we could have seen a little bit beyond Skylar’s eighth date. An epilogue would have been good. I felt the book ended a little bit before it should. Or maybe that is just me being greedy and wanting more. A very enjoyable and entertaining read.


Forevermore by Lynn Galli

The Virginia Series

Follows on from Blessed Twice

When M. Desiderius married Briony, she knew she had found the one person she’d thought she’d never find. Someone who loves her as much as she loves them. Her true soul mate. Dare M ask for more though?

M has a hidden desire to provide a home for an orphan. Not just any orphan, but a girl just like she had been at the tender and vulnerable age of nine years old. She feels she owes this to the memory of Kathryn, the woman who had taken her in and made a difference to her young life. Now she has Briony’s love, can her dream now become a reality?

Orphan, Olivia, joins their tight knit and loving family. But, things are far from perfect. Olivia isn’t solely theirs. In fact, it’s not long before M’s dreams are shattered by circumstances beyond their control. Will M and Briony find a way to right the devastation or will they lose Olivia forever?

I have to say, I love Lynn Galli’s writing. Whatever books she publishes, I buy without even reading the synopsis. Her books are well written and edited, her stories true to life and I’m always hooked from the first page through to the last.

I love the Virginia friends, although this is part of a series, it stands alone very well. But, I would strongly advise you to read all the books, especially Blessed Twice which tells M and Briony’s story. They are all great stories and give lots of background on the characters we read about in here.

This book focuses on a family unit, rather than just a simple romance. There is a burning romance throughout though, showing a tender and sweet love within a family. The story shows how a new member is introduced into an already loving family and is told from both M’s and Olivia’s points of view. It’s good to actually hear Olivia’s deepest thoughts and her emotional feelings as well as how the adults feel.

It was wonderful to have some of the other Virginia friends back too. Although they were playing minor roles.

There is a lot of emotional angst, plus a fantastic sense of humor interspersed throughout the book, so making the story both heart breaking and heart warming.

The only disappointment I had with this book was that it simply wasn’t long enough. I wanted more, much more. Hopefully, Lynn will bring us more from the Virginia clan in the future.